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N.O.W. Blows it AGAIN on PA Senate Race

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Last week, I wrote an article, Who's Screwing America's Female Democrats which castigated WHO, NARAL and other women's orgs for failing to do anything about the anti abortion Democratic candidate Bob Casey, jr..

Today, NOW endorsed "progressive" candidate Alan Sandals in the PA Democratic senate primary race.

N.O.W. deserves some modicum of congratulations for being the first to break with the Democratic party bosses and reject Bob Casey, jr. But they really blew it on making a difference.

It's hard to imagine a women's organization doing a worse job in advocating for womens' rights than N.O.W. has done in Pennsylvania.

First, they spent over six months doing nothing, after their choice for senate candidate, Barbara Hafer withdrew from the race to make it easier for DLC annointed, anti-abortion candidate Bob Casey,jr.

Now, they've endorsed a candidate who has built almost no grassroots base (except in a weak base in Philadelphia) who spent a bundle on TV commercials with little effect, Alan Sandals, a Philadelphia attorney who professes to be a progressive who will also pull moderate voters.

Sorry, but here in PA, Sandals is not a viable candidate.

Casey's real threat has been Chuck Pennacchio, an activist who has significant experience with winning senate campaigns, something PA democrats are totally devoid of. When Sandals entered the fray, he diluted the focus of progressives and pro-choice voters. It must have given cause for Casey's campaign to breath a real sigh of relief.

By giving Sandals fizzling, almost lonely, grassroots weak campaign a shot in the arm, instead of supporting Pennacchio, who is firmly pro Roe v.Wade and abortion rights, NOW has only helped Casey. If they'd supported Pennacchio, they would have unified behind the strongest campaign opposing Casey. By supporting Sandals, they split the energy and confuse the issues.

My guess is they are supporting Sandals because Pennacchio does support the requirement that 13 year olds notify their parents' (not permission, just notification, with an exceptions for judicial bypass and medical emergency ) before getting an abortion. Since parental permission is required for just about any medical procedure a 13 year old seeks, this seems reasonable to me, as a parent. But maybe it was a line that NOW's extremist members couldn't live with. Just as the NRA refuses to accept limits on automatic weapons, suggesting that any limitation is a loss, perhaps NOW is thinking the same way. Apparently, Sandals was insisting upon notification AND permission, but he flip-flopped to get NOW's endorsement. My guess is Sandals flip-flopped to get the endorsement. NOW endorsed him because he flip-flopped for them, and perhaps also, because he IS taking PAC money, which Pennacchio refuses to do. Now that Sandals has shown he'll flip flop, and since we already know he takes PAC money, that makes him appear much more likely to be "amenable" and owing to the NOW PAC. Pennacchio is running on his independence and refusal to take PAC money as one of his strengths. This makes me trust Pennacchio more, Sandals less. Who else will he flip flop for when offered and opportunity? Hell, he's a lawyer.

Joanne Tosti-Vasey, the current president of PA NOW, was probably the person who had the biggest influence on NOW national's decision to endorse Sandals. But Kathy Miller, PA NOW's past president, has endorsed Pennacchio.

NOW has done no good in PA with this endorsement. They've gone with a candidate who had no shot at winning, against a candidate who has built an extraordinary grassroots base. Alan Sandals isn't a bad man, or a bad candidate. But he hasn't done his job. He got in the race late and has not put even a tiny fraction of the campaigning effort into the race the Pennacchio has done. Unlike Casey, if hell froze over and Sandals won, I wouldn't have a problem voting for him. But he won't win. This is no disaster for the Pennacchio campaign, since NOW has no huge presence in PA.
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Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media.

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He is the author of The Bottom-up Revolution; Mastering the Emerging World of Connectivity

He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites,

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, (more...)

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